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Texas Lt. Governor Hypes False 'Gun-Free Zones' Claim On Mass Shootings

Chuck "It's Not My Job To Fact Check My Guests" Todd strikes again.
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Chuck "It's Not My Job To Fact Check My Guests" Todd strikes again. As Media Matters reported earlier this year, this is one of the right wing media's favorite talking points: Conservative Media Use Oregon Community College Shooting To Revive "Gun-Free Zone" Canard :

In the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, conservative commentators instantly referred to the school as a "gun-free zone," falling back on conservative media's go-to mass shooting talking point.

At least 10 people were reported killed, and many others injured October 1 during an Oregon community college mass shooting, and as facts concerning the shooting remained scarce, media figures immediately made references to the campus as a "gun-free zone" on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, the Drudge Report, and other conservative websites.

But these references of "gun-free zones" represent a red herring because they rely on the assumption that more people carrying guns would stop mass shootings, when in reality there is no evidence to support such claims.

The overwhelming majority of mass shootings actually occur where guns are allowed to be carried. And according to an analysis of 62 public mass shootings over a 30 year period conducted by Mother Jones, not a single shooting was stopped by a civilian carrying a firearm. Mother Jones also found that gunmen do not choose to target locations because guns are not allowed, but rather other motives typically exist for choice of location, such as a workplace grievance.

Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, who is always more worried about access than he is holding any of his guests accountable for the lies they tell while they're on the air, allowed Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick to repeat that whopper this Sunday:

CHUCK TODD: Now you're going to have, look, there's a lot of law enforcement that are struggling to figure out how you're going to decide if somebody is open carrying, has a weapon, and somebody sees a person carrying a weapon, they may call 911 and say, "Hey, there's somebody in the mall carrying a weapon." Now, it's legal in Texas, but yeah, that's going to scare some people. Is this is not sort of, a asking for a public chaos frankly?


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LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK: No, it's not.

CHUCK TODD: Why?

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK: No, it's not, Chuck. In fact, the law enforcement from Oklahoma actually came and testified before our committees and the legislature in Texas and said it has not been a problem. Again, 44 states, Chuck, already have open carry. Michigan's had it for 175 years. Vermont's always had it. We have not seen these problems.

Concealed carry, which we've had in Texas since the mid '90s, we've virtually had zero problems. In fact, someone with a concealed carry, who can now open carry in Texas, is 12 times less likely to commit even a misdemeanor. This is just propaganda by those who either don't like guns, who are afraid of guns, which I respect, some people don't like them. But don't stop us, who love guns, who love the Second Amendment, from being able to protect ourselves, our family, our businesses, and our friends.

CHUCK TODD: You know, you have to meet a higher threshold of a background check to get a concealed carry permit and to get this, in essence, to get an open carry permit. Why shouldn't that be the standard for all gun ownership?

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK: You know, I'm one who believes the Second Amendment guarantees everyone the right to own a gun. In fact, in the--

CHUCK TODD: So why are regulating anything? Why is there any standard on open carry? By that standard, there shouldn't be a standard on open carry, right?

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK: Because it's been, Chuck, because it's been an evolving process in this country. In 2000, only 35% of Americans thought they needed a gun to protect themselves and their homes. Today, the Gallup polls show that over 60% believe that. It's an evolving issue.

And even the Supreme Court has evolved on it. In 2008, the Heller Decision, the Supreme Court said the Second Amendment guaranteed those rights to individuals, not just a militia. So all of these issues are evolving. Right now, only New York, Illinois, California, South Carolina, and Florida, do not allow open carry. So 45 states have moved to this.

CHUCK TODD: Do you think there's too many--

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK: No, I don't think--

CHUCK TODD: Do you think there are too many hurdles? No, no, no, you didn't let me finish my question-- do you think there's too many hurdles to get a concealed-carry permit or an open-carry permit?

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK: No, and I think again, that is evolving. I passed a bill as a senator before I become lieutenant governor that changed the process of getting a permit to online only, for example. So all of the states are evolving. And I want to see a day when every American citizen can simply have a gun, does not have to go through a long ordeal or pay a high price. We're going to address that in Texas as well. Because it's the right of every individual under the Second Amendment.

Texas is the largest state to have open carry. And let me also add this, Chuck. That everywhere that we have more citizens carrying guns, crime is less. There's a study showing that where states have open carry or concealed carry, but particularly open carry, the crime is down 25%. Murders are down. Having law-abiding citizens having guns is a good thing.

In fact, Chuck, every one of the mass shootings except two in America since 1950 have been gun-free zones. And everyone in Europe, where people have guns, bad guys don't go. And you're never going to stop bad guys from getting guns with background checks at gun shows. Let America have their guns, let them defend themselves, and America will be a safer place.

CHUCK TODD: I have a feeling we're not going to resolve this political debate this morning on Meet the Press. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, thanks for coming on the show this morning.

LT. GOV. DAN PATRICK: Chuck, thanks for having me. Thank you.

h/t Media Matters

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